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Entries in Best Actor (196)

Tuesday
Jan172017

The Final Predictions Begin!

I've updated the Picture, Director, Screenplays, Actor and Supporting Actress charts with final predictions. Though many questions remain we must make the hard calls with nominations only a week away!

Best Picture & Best Director
The Best Picture race will literally never be "locked up" again so long as Oscar sticks with its "5 to 10" balloting math. That shifting number of Best Pictures means that you just never know. I want to say 8 again this year but what if its 5,6,7,9, or gulp 10. The big question mark, at least for this pundit, is Nocturnal Animals. Given that it's the movie that won't go away in precursor season with great showings at the Globes and BAFTA and significant buzz in Los Angeles despite its polarizing nature and its relatively low box office take (lower than ALL the other still buzzing pictures with the exception of Loving). The thing is you can't vote AGAINST something. You can only vote for it, so we're predicting Tom Ford in Best Director. 

Leading Actor
Arguable the most settled of the Oscar acting races with Casey Affleck, Denzel Washington, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, and Ryan Gosling all steady players for months. At this point it would be a minor surprise to see one of the ousted. Support for their rivals seems to be far too diffuse.

Supporting Actress
The other "settled" acting race though you can definitely make arguments about one of two women spoiling the party:  Greta Gerwig who is brilliant in 20th Century Women and who has definitely earned her place at Hollywood's most prestigious tables after years of fine work, or Janelle Monae, who proves herself a total natural in Hidden Figures with a bright film career ahead of her. Supporting Actress is a friendly category to double nominees which means if there's a major shake-up it could be both Octavia and Janelle in the mix.

With Captain Fantastic holding strong for Viggo and with its SAG nomination, we're betting the Screenplay shows up, too.

Original Screenplay & Adapted Screenplay
The big question in Adapted might be whether Fences has enough goodwill to earn August Wilson a posthumous nomination, or if naysayers who believe its too "stagey" have made it a Viola & Denzel only party. My guess is that if Tom Ford doesn't show up in Director he shows up here instead and steals that slot away from the late theatrical giant.

In Original Screenplay with three films looking unstoppable for nominations (Manchester, Hell or, La La), one looking like a very typical "of course it nabbed #1 votes!" critical darling style nominee (The Lobster), there's presumably only one spot left and SO many strong screenplays fighting for it: Captain Fantastic, 20th Century Women, Zootopia, Toni Erdmann, Jackie. 

Wednesday
Dec282016

Oscar Dark Horse Watch: Joel Edgerton for Best Actor  

by Lynn Lee

As we approach the start of Oscar voting, the race for Best Actor remains comparatively quiet, especially when compared with the super-tight margins in the Best Actress category.  Currently the smart money has the Academy tracking the SAG lineup, with Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington as virtual locks (notwithstanding the continued rumbling about those 2010 sexual harassment suits against Affleck) and Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortensen, and Andrew Garfield filling the remaining slots...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec222016

Two Serious Questions About Birthday Boy Ralph Fiennes

Wednesday
Dec212016

New Oscar Predictions: Acting Categories... Locked Up or Not? 

By Nathaniel R

Post SAG & Globe Nominations each year oscar's acting categories start feeling locked up. But here's something always worth remembering: Each year brings us 1 or 2 new additions to the "nominated for SAG & Globe but still missed Oscar" close-but-no-cigar club.  This year in particular seems unlikely to have as much exact 5/5 correlation due to the double whammy of Oscar's acting branch voting a little later than usual (they don't get ballots until January 5th) and the precursors voting a smidge earlier than usual. The next two weeks are crucial; no one who is remotely close to a nomination should give up just yet.

ACTRESS
Portman has been winning lots of critics awards but, strangely, her film (just as strong or even stronger than her eery performance) isn't doing as well. She's not exactly locked for a second win but she's definitely giving Emma Stone a fright and probably preventing Amy Adams or Annette Bening from dreaming of their first very long-awaited wins. The nomination race is even tighter...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec122016

Team Experience Finale: Golden Globe Gaiety 

You must forgive your host for these next two and final Globe nom survey questions. Please blame the heavy NyQuill and other drugs for his terminl cold flu situation of the past 48 hours. After snubs and favorites, I asked the team which categories would make the Best Dinner Party and the Best Orgy. No really, I did. I apologize.

Here are the responses and I expect yours, too. Amuse me on my deathbed* in the comments please

*not really but that's what it feels like

WHICH CATEGORY WOULD MAKE THE BEST DINNER PARTY?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov252016

Acting Chart Updates. Four Questions

Next week everything either begins to change or starts solidifying as the precursors begin. Woohoo, it's awards season! So ALL the Oscar charts were updated this week with the biggest gains this time going to Hell or High Water which wasn't just a momentary pleasure in the summer but a film people are still talking about - witness the Gotham and Spirit acting nods for Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster respectively.

have we been overestimating Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea? If she slips from the shortlist, who rises up?

BEST ACTRESS & BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
These categories are looking the most settled with 5 women in each chugging along smoothly toward the precursor glory. In fact apart from Oscar looking toward its default darlings (Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who both did very fine work this year) it looks like Emma, Annette, Ruth, Isabelle, and Natalie all have reason to be hopeful. The same is true in Supporting Actress where five women (Viola, Naomie, Nicole, Michelle, Greta) have much more heat than others but they'll still have to fend off surging adorables like Molly Shannon in Other People and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Q1: If Meryl or Amy place in the leading shortlist, which one of them and who gets the boot?
Q2: If voters promote Viola Davis to lead (where she totally belongs given that Fences is essentially a family/marital drama) who benefits in supporting and who suffers in lead? Imagine the chaos!

How many nods can Hell or High Water manage? We're predicting 5 at the moment.

BEST ACTOR & BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
These two categories are much more volatile because the men haven't generated half as much conversation this year.

Q3: Might we see BOTH Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster in supporting for Hell or High Water since people love that film so much?  A dual nod in Best Supporting Actor hasn't happened since Bugsy in 1991?
Q4: Do you expect something like 2011 when underdogs like Demian Bichir and Gary Oldman rose up to take nominations that people initially assumed would go to Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender? And if so are Tom Hanks and Ryan Gosling pushed out and for whom?

ALL OSCAR CHARTS ARE UPDATED HERE

Friday
Nov182016

Fences, His & Hers

The adaptation of August Wilson's Fences is under embargo so we're not supposed to review it. I notice that hasn't stopped anyone but I play by rules (sigh). Let it suffice to say for now that it's super. Denzel Washington stays out of the play's way and the play is so grand that that's all you need. Can we reverse time and have him do this for August: Osage County and Doubt? They both derailed themselves with nervous attempts to jazz up the material to be A MOVIE.

There's no awkward attempts to "open" Fences up, and that tightness, that feeling of no escape informs this in the same way it informed the plays of August and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which all use their single settings brilliantly to inform and confine and reflect the characters. Fences is just these characters (seven of them in total), this time (the 50s), and this place (Pittsburgh) and it's beautifully acted. 

P.S. So depressed that they aren't gunning for His & Hers Leading Oscars to match their His & Hers Leading Tonys.